Youngsters at a Chelsea Foundation Soccer School in Kingston enjoyed a day to remember on Tuesday as they received a surprise visit from Chelsea Ladies trio Ji So-Yun, Emma Wilhelmsson and Laura Coombs.
The Chelsea Ladies players joined 20 children at Tiffin School in Kingston for a training session before handing out tickets to Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League game with Liverpool and posing for photos and signing autographs.
The girls and boys involved have been attending a four-day Chelsea Foundation Soccer School at the venue and were particularly impressed with So-Yun’s juggling skills as the South Korean international put on a show for her new fans.
‘It was great to meet all the kids as it reminded me of when I was a child and when I wanted to become a footballer,’ said So-Yun, who scored her first goal for the club in the 2-1 FA Women’s Cup win over Bristol Academy last weekend.
Midfielder Coombs added: ‘It was fun to come and join in with the session and help the coaches and give something back to the local community.
‘We need to get our game recognised and to do that we need to be out here promoting the game as otherwise people in the local community won’t know what we are doing.
‘It’s important to give the little girls here something to aspire to and hopefully they were impressed with what they saw, especially Ji’s skills!’
Later in the day So-Yun and her Chelsea teammates visited Korea Foods in New Malden, meeting and greeting staff and shoppers before enjoying some traditional Korean dishes.
‘I was so happy when I arrived and saw all the Korean flags and people,’ added So-Yun. ‘I have settled in nicely in London but haven’t had any traditional food for a while.
‘It was good to meet some local Korean people as well and hopefully they will come along and support us this season.’